Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will continue in Afghanistan even though there were proposals to restrict the social networking site in the wake of ethnic hatred that sourced from it at the time of presidential elections. The war of words between the supporters on the website started after candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah were accused of frauds in the June 14th election.
Facebook used to spread hatred
Ghani has Pashtun tribes of the South and east standing by his side, whereas Abdullah draws major support from Tajiks and other northern Afghan groups and the recent heated conversation over Facebook revives the memory of the ethnic divisions of the bloody 1992-96 civil war.
“The national security council discussed banning of Facebook in their meeting today,” Fayeq Wahedi, the deputy presidential spokesman, told AFP on Sunday. Wahedi said that there are elements over Facebook that trigger hatred and harm the national unity, but council is determined to keep Facebook running in the country.
Over the past few years, internet users have surged, and supporters from both the sides are posting photos and intimidating messages after the revelation of fraud allegations.
Is another Civil unrest in making?
UNO has already issued a warning that continued accusations on the Facebook could erupt into civil unrest. UN mission chief, Jan Kubis said that there has been an alarming tone in some social media platforms and the supporters should keep away from posting inflammatory statements, hate speech or statements that could give way to discordant ethnic mobilization
Kubis added that some postings were “rhetoric that brings back memories of tragic, fratricidal, factional conflicts in the 1990s that cost the lives of tens of thousands of civilians.”
Abdullah, who deny the results of the poll, has demanded the exhaustive audit of the ballot papers, stating that he has been caught into an “industrial scale” fraud. On the other hand, Ghani has established that he won the election by 1 million votes, and the results must be released on the decided date.
Afghanistan’s first democratic election after the departure of US led troops have been sour. Abdullah said in a news conference that his party would not accept the result except when the clean votes are separated from the fraudulent ones.
There are possibilities that both the groups choose their own leader, which would plunge the country into dire consequences, even causing the civil war of the 1990s.